Narrow Primary Feather Rachises in Confuciusornis and Archaeopteryx Suggest Poor Flight Ability

  title={Narrow Primary Feather Rachises in Confuciusornis and Archaeopteryx Suggest Poor Flight Ability},
  author={Robert L Nudds and Gareth J. Dyke},
  pages={887 - 889}
Poor Flight of the Ancients In order to fly, the feathers of birds must be strong enough to support the bird's weight without breaking or bending. The main part of a feather providing structural support is its central shaft, which stiffens the feather along its length. In modern birds, this is hollow to reduce weight. Nudds and Dyke (p. 887) show that the cross-section of the shaft of the Mesozoic birds Archaeopteryx and Confuciusornis was much smaller than that of modern birds. Calculations… Expand

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Comment on “Narrow Primary Feather Rachises in Confuciusornis and Archaeopteryx Suggest Poor Flight Ability”
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The total biology of the birds indicates that they could achieve flapping flight and the authors overestimated the mass of the subjects and understated the strength of the primary shafts. Expand
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